Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm not moving, I'm expanding my home...

...you're going to see the messages come more rapidly. People will say, I'm moving to Google+, goodbye Facebook. Or, I'm giving up Twitter and moving to use only Facebook.

It's like you have to renounce your citizenship in a country to speak the language in another!

Look, here's the thing...

They're all just tools and they either support what you are trying to do, or they add nothing.

Choose the ones that make a difference for you, but don't feel like you have to sign your allegiance to one or another.

Twitter is like this gargantuan conversation in which everyone is whispering small expressions of thoughts into a space, and the adept can listen for the part of that conversation that applies to them. It is possible to reach out and connect to a community of ideas, engaging it by linking outward to more expressive media.

Facebook is like this bubbly stew of shared expressions, people sharing, people playing, people organizing themselves. It's like a restaurant menu that has meals for a number of different moods and times of day. From that we can again, extract the parts that are useful and relevant to us with just a little effort.

Google Plus is simply another set of tools to allow you to listen to, and speak into, a community of thought.  It allows for new ways to fine tune the aggregation of "required reading," or "thoughtful opinions," or "insightfully funny material."  And my best source of this material is the conversation I share with my respected peers.

When I begin to read and look at the same things as my peer group, I begin to share a common cultural conversation with them. I'm able to monitor the new status of prior art, and I'm able to stay up to date on occurrences that probably hold a great deal of interest for me.

This is what social search is meant to do. It's what the social graph was meant for. Each of these platforms can fill a different niche in our desire to be connected to the people around us.

So in the end, using only one tool to collect this is as silly as defining only one "peer group." If I define myself in only one group, I develop a narrow perspective. If I bind myself to one tool, I also narrow my perspective.

So, although I am not condoning his lifestyle, I cannot help but recall the immortal words of Mr. Creosote...

"I'll take the lot! In a bucket..."